Embracing the Strange: Queer New York International Arts Festival

6.4.2012

By Peter Frost

A provocative new event aims to challenge what it means to be 'queer'

It’s official, New York: Queer is here. The first-ever Queer New York International Arts Festival (QNYI) is set to begin this week, with the festivities commencing this Thursday, June 7, and lasting until June 15. The goal of the festival is—through a marriage of art and dialogue—to challenge our views of what queer means in today’s society, pushing the stereotypical views often held and expanding the conversation into new and intriguing territory.

Co-curated by Zvonimir Dobrović, director of Queer Zagreb, and Andre von Ah, an art historian, they described the purpose of the festival as a way for people to “break through dominant ideas that limit and marginalize queer art” and “create a new concept of queer as a wider platform for excellence in arts.”

With a splattering of performers from across the globe, the festival will be a decidedly international affair, with artists hailing from Serbia, France, Italy, and Japan. The lineup includes David Wampach’s ‘Auto + Batterie’ visual installation, François Chaignaud’s and Cecilia Bengolea’s performance of 'Paquerette', which explores dichotomy of pain and pleasure through interpretive dance, and the East Village Boys-curated art exhibit For Personal Use.

Discussions organized by Andy Horowitz and Jeremy M. Barker of Culturebot.org are planned intermittently throughout the festival, with topics including “How Queer Everything is Today!” and ‘The Impersonal Game: Ricci/Forte”.

The majority of the events will take place at the Abrons Arts Center, a partner in the festival, on the Lower East Side, with additional events planned at The Invisible Dog Art Center and The Impossible Project. Click here for more info, or visit queerny.org for the full line-up of events.

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